Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords transferred thousands of dollars from her congressional fund to support candidates working to find sensible solutions to gun violence.
Giffords, who resigned from Congress after being shot by a gunman in 2011, recently closed her campaign and transferred the remaining balance – nearly $300,000 – to a newly-created Rights and Responsibilities PAC, Pia Carusone, senior adviser to Rep. Giffords, told msnbc. Giffords intends to assist candidates who support Americans’ Second Amendment rights and are working to find gun-violence resolutions.
She initially donated money to Sens. Pat Toomey, Susan Collins, and Kay Hagan - two Republicans and a Democrat, all of whom favored the background checks bill that failed in the Senate earlier this year. The PAC will make donations to other individuals throughout the year.
Giffords, who received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award, was almost killed when a gunman opened fire at a constituent meet-and-greet in Tucson, Ariz., in January 2011. Giffords, along with her husband Capt. Mark Kelly, founded Americans for Responsible Solutions to curb gun violence.
Giffords has aired radio advertisements holding accountable Republican Sens. Kelly Ayotte and Mitch McConnell for voting against the unsuccessful gun-control bill. The Senate in April failed to pass the amendment that would have required universal background checks for firearms buyers.
Some officials who support gun reform have been threatened by Americans who oppose stronger restrictions. Colorado State Rep. Rhonda Fields received a letter in April that expressed the sender’s hope for someone to “Giffords” her.